3rd surgery in 6 months...am I crazy to consider it?
I am only 30 years old, and have been having severe sciatica pain for about 3 years. I went to a specialist when I started having trouble walking, and getting out of bed in the morning. I would get up, and my leg would completely give out on me, and I would end up falling on the floor.
The specialist stated that my L5 was herniated, and that my S1 was being pinched which was causing all of my pain. He recommended surgery since no chiro, physical therapy, or even epideral injections were working. I had a minimally invasive spinal fusion with hardware back in November. I went back to work being a server after 5 weeks with a 25 pound weight limit. However; after about 2 or 3 weeks I started realizing I was having leg pain again and it was getting worse as time went on.
I finally convinced my surgeon something was not right after my 1st surgery, and he ordered some test. He told me that my nerve was still being compressed because I "overfused" and that I grew too much bone which was once again compressing my nerves. He also stated that my hardware was not holding up because of how active I was. He wanted to put in more hardware that was stronger, and also do a decompression surgery to remove the extra bone growth around my nerves.
I had the 2nd surgery exactly 4 months after my first surgery. I woke up in severe pain, and my right leg was numb in the back of my leg and also the inside of my thigh. I was numb from the waist down to my toes. My doctor said the nerve was just inflamed and irritated, and that it would go away. However; it still has not. Also I told him my nerve was still being pinched, but he said I just needed to give it time.
It has been 9 weeks since my 2nd surgery, and I just found out yesterday he wants to do yet ANOTHER surgery. My nerve is now supposedly being compressed by scar tissue which was found when I was trying to get epiderals for the pain. Also another MRI shows that my L4 is now herniated as well. So now he wants to do another decompression surgery to free up my nerve, and also fix the L4 herniated disc as well.
He told me it is either another surgery, a spinal cord stimulator, or live with this extreme pain for the rest of my life. However; he is not recommending the spinal cord stimulator because of my age. He said that I am too young to get one already, and if I go that route I would have to have many implanted because they only last so long anyway.
I am honestly completely at a loss. I am worried that if I have this much scar tissue after only 9 weeks, does this mean it is going to be there again in another 2 months? Also it is too early to remove the hardware because the fusion has not completely healed, so does this mean I will have to having another surgery later to remove it to create more room so my nerves are not being pinched anymore? Also if 2 surgeries were not successful already, whats the chance of the 3rd working?
I guess I am just asking anyone what they think, and if anyone has had this issue too? I have an extremely physical job, and I obviously can't afford another surgery, but I can't live with this pain very much longer. I am already at my wits end, and I feel hopeless. I am worried about taking so much pain medicine, but I am also worried that I am going to have to live with the pain the rest of my life.
I AM DESPERATE!!!!! Please help if you have any suggestions or at least tell me what you think. I guess I know everyone on here knows at least what it is like to live with such horrible pain, and what they would do if they were in my shoes. Thank you so much in advance!!!!!!! I really appreciate any help I can get.